The family of a dear friend of mine was invited to China on a cultural visit. She said that the most striking thing about visiting The Middle Kingdom was the shabby hygiene. Many of the people there didn’t have access to the technology that we take for granted, and so lived at a more primitive level.
But the one thing that bothered her the most was the smell. Besides the open sewers that were common in every city, the air became filled with smoke at meal times as people burned whatever they could to cook their food.
This news story reports that a team of researchers led by Chandra Venkataraman of the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have discovered that soot and other particulates are a greater factor in potential climate change in south Asia than greenhouse gasses. The best way to avoid any future problems would be to introduce more advanced ways to cook a meal.
This is hardly surprising, considering my buddy’s tales of the conditions when she visited. One thing that is surprising is the news article itself. The author, Randolph E. Schmid, makes an effort to write an even-handed account. No mention of the Kyoto Protocols or the US reaction to them is anywhere to be found.
I’d have to say that it certainly sounds like a good idea if the Chinese make an effort to upgrade their cooking technology. It would make the air in the region easier to breathe, if nothing else.